Emerson, Lake and Palmer “Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends, Ladies and Gentlemen…”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#206 in the Series) is Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends, Ladies and Gentlemen…

ELP were larger than life to me during my high school years. I just loved this band. I still do. This three album live set got a ton of play on my old Marantz.

This 1974 release of a 1973 tour, had just about everything I wanted by them. It was about as close as you could get to a full concert experience on a live album.  The only things that were obviously missing were two of their most well-known pop hits, they being “Lucky Man” and “Still…You Turn Me On.”

ELP were about at the peak of their popularity about this time.  Brain Salad Surgery was a huge seller. The tour that followed was also quite successful.  However, this live album wasn’t as well received by the critics. I often read reviews that called it bloated and to self-serving.  I loved it and so did their fans. Critics be damned.

ELP would take a number of years off after this point. They would later return in 1977 with the double album Works Volume 1. It contained a new array of ELP classics such as Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare For a Common Man,” and “Pirates.”  An extensive and EXPENSIVE orchestral tour would follow.

— Larry Carta 

Track Listing

Side one

  1. “Hoedown” – 4:27
  2. “Jerusalem” – 3:20
  3. “Toccata” – 7:21

Side two

  1. “Tarkus” – 16:42
  • “Eruption” (Emerson)
  • “Stones of Years” (Emerson, Lake)
  • “Iconoclast” (Emerson)
  • “Mass” (Emerson)
  • “Manticore” (Emerson)
  • “Battlefield” (Lake) including “Epitaph

Side three

  1. “Tarkus (conclusion)” – 10:42
  • “Aquatarkus” (Emerson)
  1. “Take a Pebble”, including “Still…You Turn Me On” / “Lucky Man” – 11:06

Side four

  1. “Piano Improvisations” – 11:54
  2. “Take a Pebble (conclusion)” – 3:14
  3. “Jeremy Bender” / “The Sheriff” – 5:26

Side five

  1. “Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression” – 17:26

Side six

  1. “Karn Evil 9: 2nd Impression” – 7:36
  2. “Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression” – 10:17


  • Keith Emerson – keyboards
  • Greg Lake – bass, guitars, vocals
  • Carl Palmer – drums, percussion


BONUS VIDEO: ELP Rehearsing Karn Evil 9

Bonus Video 2: Keith Emerson on David Letterman. This band could have been called Emerson, Mullet and Mullet.

BONUS VIDEO 3: Keith Emerson + Oscar Peterson (with Carl Palmer on drums)

Posted by Larry Carta

1 Comment

  1. […] See our write up on ELP, ‘Live Welcome Back My friends.’ […]

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